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Old 04-11-2014, 05:24 PM   #1 (permalink)
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Default 6 month old biting

Hi everyone. I got my girl when she was 12 weeks old and she turns 6 months in just 2 days. Shes atleast 50lbs already and all muscle. She has some behavior problems of course due to her age but the one I'm worried about is her mouthing\biting.

She's been a mouther\biter since the day I got her and while it isn't nearly as bad as it used to be she has adult teeth now so it hurts. I always think that shes just playing or using her mouth like a puppy would and that she'll grow out of it but this past week at our training class the trainer said my dog is lowering her lip and that = bad problems. I'll admit something was wrong with her that day at class, it was out 6th week and she was perfect at the last 5 classes but for the entire hour she just bit the heck out of me and was insane, the trainer had me do the "claw" like cesar does but when I do it she doesn't even notice, she cries when the trainer does it though.

Since that night of training she still bites\mouths but most of the time its just putting my arm in her mouth and using no pressure at all, sometimes she does use some pressure but she never comes close to breaking skin. For the past few months I've tried crying like a puppy when she bites me, that just gets her more excited and when she is excited is when the mouthing becomes a problem. I've tried redirection with toys but now I really think that she has learned to bite when she wants a toy... The trainer has me sprayed a mixture of lemon juice\water into her mouth when she bites and saying "don't bite." This stops it for awhile but not for long. Btw the bottle is put in the mouth and sprayed, 0% of it getting in her eyes but I still don't really like it but it is the only thing that works for me atm.

She wants me to hold her on the ground and do the "claw" but the claw has no effect when I do it and she just flies around the ground and I just up just holding her down by the head and chest until she calms down. I feel really bad doing this to her and I think its wrong so I haven't been doing it much lately. Besides it hurts my bones to be down on the ground like that. Does anyone have any other ideas on what to do? I really think its just something she'll grow out of like my other dogs did but my trainer doesn't think its acceptable at this age. I really like my trainer but this is the one thing I guess we don't agree on.
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Old 04-11-2014, 09:20 PM   #2 (permalink)
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I too have a 6 month with biting problems. My girl mostly gets like that when we take her out to go to the bathroom or on a without a correction type of collar. One time I was about 300ft from the house and had only a harness on her. She did good and then turned around and clenched onto my arm. I tried high value treats to leur her off and she went at it harder. Got her mouth off and instantly it was back on. I ended up dragging her home with her mouth around my arm. That was the worst. My girl never goes on a walk without some kinda correction device now for our own safety. I believe its the high stimulation of the real world. She is on her second trainer and she suggests to put a wall/door between you for 15 seconds. It seems to work in the house but what about outside? I guess my trainer is going to show me some kind of foam board to sheild yourself. I think she will eat it.
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Old 04-11-2014, 09:36 PM   #3 (permalink)
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Hm sometimes getting another trainers training methods, advice could potentially fit you and your dog better.

Not a huge fan of some of the things your trainer is telling you to do. I know for the mouthiness, which my dog was/is you have to counter condition some things- if there are triggers to the mouthiness counter condition it. I did it with my dog with nails and brushing- she is almost 90% perfect for it now which is a long way from a very naughty dog!

Some dogs will mouth out of excitement, "mouth hugs." Some people think mouthing (for playing with no hint aggression at all obviously) is good for the dog because it teaches it continuous bite inhibition. Where as other people say a dogs teeth should NEVER be on a human. Something you will have to decide for your dog-either way, you will need to stick to it and keep up with consistency.

There is a lot of information on this forums about similar situations. Keep researching and my biggest advice is find a new trainer with different training and be consistent with whatever you choose to do.
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Old 04-11-2014, 10:24 PM   #4 (permalink)
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I don't like these ideas your trainer has. This claw thing I don't even understand it but if it involved pinning your dog on the ground, it's going to back fire when the dog is another year older and stronger. It also messes up the trust. Lemonjuice in the mouth - what happens if you don't have the bottle? Are you supposed to be carrying it at all times? Crazy. Alpha rolling and spray bottles are old school harsh methods anyway.

Have you tried poking her in the tongue when she nips? Otto would get ramped up by re-direction. He'd take off with the toy and come back to bite me again, except this time I didn't have a toy. Poking him in the tongue and tickling the roof of his mouth eventually worked.

What about closing the mouth? It's what older dogs do with pups to teach them bite inhibition. My 15 month old has a white slash across her nose from Otto closing her bitey little mouth. Closing the mouth until she whined worked for her.
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Old 04-11-2014, 10:50 PM   #5 (permalink)
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There is so much wrong here. Go with your gut. Your gut is telling you not to do this. So don't do this.

Trainers have to find the right method of training a behavior or eliminating a behavior that fits the dog AND the handler/owner. Your trainer seems to have little in her tool box, and does not recognize that she is not fitting you with what she is using. Especially since it seems to have no effect when you do it.

Frankly, if my trainer made my puppy cry, that would probably be it. Training should be fun, and keep a puppy engaged, and keep the puppy looking for more. There is just no place for puppies crying in training classes.

The whole idea of over-powering your dog to control it, is rarely necessary, kind of old school, typically counter-productive, and sometimes dangerous. I can't outrun my dogs, I can't out pull my dogs, and I can't out bite my dogs, but I can out think them. We have the human brain, and there are so many ways to teach our dogs what we want, that we really do not have to physically manhandle them.

Teach your dog the Gentle command. Use treats. Start with the treat in your open palm and tell the dog to take it but say, Gentle. Work with it. Use the word a LOT, and give it some time taking treats out of the open palm. A couple of days. Use the word GENTLE to remind the dog and GOOD GENTLE when he takes it nicely.

After he is really good at that make it more interesting. Put your thumb on it, and only let the dog take it if he is doing it gently. Continue to use the word to remind the dog before hand and to praise the dog afterwards with the word Gentle.

When that is good, progress to doing it with a closed fist. Good treat. If he licks the hand open and say, good gentle, dog gets the treat. If he tries to take it without being gentle, wait until he gives you gentle behavior, and then Good Gentle and give the treat.

When he is being gentle this way, move the treat to your finger and thumb. You are teaching the dog the term gentle. You are also teaching the dog to take something carefully or to inhibit the natural tendency to snatch it out of your hand and gobble it up. He gets it for being gentle, and when he can take it out of your exposed finger and thumb every time, gently, you are ready to use the term with other things. Gentle with my fingers. Gentle, whenever he starts to mouth. Good gentle when he pulls back and licks or uses his nose to get attention rather than his teeth. You can always remind him. Like when you get home, and he is excited, as you open the crate. Gentle with the old lady. Then he can be happy to see you, but he should remember to not put his mouth down on you.

I am sorry, but the idea of alpha-rolling a puppy for mouthing is freaking me out.
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Old 04-12-2014, 07:39 AM   #6 (permalink)
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Time to find a trainer who knows GSDs.
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Old 04-12-2014, 12:47 PM   #7 (permalink)
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Have no ideas as this is my first GSD but interested to see what you do. Keep us posted.

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Old 04-12-2014, 04:18 PM   #8 (permalink)
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Jlmaiorana View Post
I too have a 6 month with biting problems. My girl mostly gets like that when we take her out to go to the bathroom or on a without a correction type of collar. One time I was about 300ft from the house and had only a harness on her. She did good and then turned around and clenched onto my arm. I tried high value treats to leur her off and she went at it harder. Got her mouth off and instantly it was back on. I ended up dragging her home with her mouth around my arm. That was the worst. My girl never goes on a walk without some kinda correction device now for our own safety. I believe its the high stimulation of the real world. She is on her second trainer and she suggests to put a wall/door between you for 15 seconds. It seems to work in the house but what about outside? I guess my trainer is going to show me some kind of foam board to sheild yourself. I think she will eat it.
This sounds like our girl before she started to settle down at two. We had to walk her in an elizabethan cone in the busy city. She always was better in the forest.
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Old 04-13-2014, 04:28 AM   #9 (permalink)
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The spray bottle is what worked for us, or rather is working for us as our pup still has her moments but they're getting less and less. We tried redirecting with a toy but often she would actually dodge the toy and go straight for my arm or leg again. Our breeder recommended water and vinegar though in the spray bottle, so that's what we use. She seems to like the taste of the vinegar but not the smell (and she definitely smells like a fish and chip shop for a bit). Friends of mine, who are also first time GSD owners, would actually rub vinegar on their feet and hands when their girl was a pup. She would bite then stop and start licking and they'd praise her when she did.

Just need to find what works for you. Even if something doesn't seem to be working it might be, just needs a bit more time. Good luck!
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Old 04-13-2014, 12:35 PM   #10 (permalink)
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Have you actively been redirecting and using methods recommended --> Puppy biting... Hints and tips to help

People not familiar with GSD's really really really don't understand. They ARE more mouthy than other breeds. It's what they were BRED TO DO!!!!! Connected with the higher play/prey/toy drives we NEED in training.

Why it's so important we do our research before getting ANY breed and are prepared for their specific behaviors and instincts.

People that have never raised a GSD have NO CLUE! They think we are nuts when describing the biting/PLAY behaviors that are driving us nuts and punishing our flesh

EXERCISE in general is the biggest help. Anywhere off leash, and/or with other pups is ideal too.

Keeping in mind it's PLAY and what they do since they hit our house helps too. Because generally the crap 'helpful' people throw at us about aggression and our dog going to kill us isn't what's happening at all.

Watch these puppies PLAY!


They are using their mouths and they are BITING EACH OTHER. It's how they play!!! And if you add a human to the mix, then they will still use their mouths/teeth. But look how they are also grabbing the toy!

We need to take advantage of that AND PLAY WITH THEM AND THE TOY!!! It's takes time. It takes patience. It's required consistency.

But it's still about teaching them how to PLAY with humans and something we WANT them to do!


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